Andy Carvin, 34
Bringing Internet power to the have-nots
Digital Divide Network
As founding editor in 1999 and current director of the Digital Divide Network, Andy Carvin has helped build an online community of more than 7,500 technology activists, educators, small-business owners, and policy makers. Their mission is to devise remedies for the fundamental information-age inequity: most people in the world lack the ability to access the Internet or the skills to use it. Carvin is also promoting a way for technology to give voice to the disenfranchised: mobcasting. Carvins idea is to combine the ubiquity of cell phones with the ease of posting information to Web logs (blogs). Say protesting human-rights activists get roughed up by police, with no traditional media on hand to record their plight. Over their phones, the human-rights activists could send multiple reports on whats happening -- either audio or video -- to the same website. Carvin is pushing programmers to create mobcasting software that works outside the U.S. phone system. With the use of mobcasting, suggests Carvin, "suddenly, the very people who are victims are empowered to bear witness to the world almost instantaneously."